“Jesus was preaching to people who were in the middle of the worst farming and fishing crisis yet.”
Two refreshing new books place the storyteller within the story he tells.
The Prodigal Son is often read to mean that God loves sinners, whereas the Jews thought God only loved the righteous. This makes no sense.
Parables aren’t too helpful, are they? Here’s what would be helpful: six steps to better discipleship. Or the three secrets of the kingdom of God, spelled out in an acrostic. If only Jesus’ teachings were as simplistic as they are often portrayed.
These parables are like God's joke in the form of an invasive species.
Preachers and teachers are really missing those summer days when we got to preach on wonderful parables about mustard seeds and loaves of yeast bread. Now it's judgment-parable season, and many of us wish we were on vacation.
The first time I heard the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector was as a small child attending vacation Bible school at Pond Fork Baptist Church. I remember the end of the little curtained balcony where our class was held, sunlight coming into our room rejoicing through a dusty window, the buzzing of insects in the July fields outside, a flannel board with figures stuck on it, and best of all, the anticipation of a story, followed by Kool-Aid and cookies.